Sunday, August 28, 2011


The dog greeted me in the sun flooded, kitchen this morning and waited patiently while I made the coffee. Then she and I headed out as we do most days.

It was a perfect morning. I put my face to the sun and whispered a thanksgiving to the heavens. It felt good to be alive on such a  gorgeous Sunday morning!

Then I heard zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I looked up at the utility pole just in time to see a furry, little orb falling to the ground. Libby and I walked over to see if I saw what I thought I saw ... I mean I didn't think birds could get electrocuted.

Aren't they hanging out on telephone and electric wires all the time? I've never been able to understand or even explain that phenomena to my kids when they ask ... I just knew it was safe for animals but dangerous for us. End of story, right?

That's why I was astounded when I found this little sparrow twitching in the grass. She was clearly electrocuted. Even the dog, sensing something had just happened, began sniffing the air up towards the wire and then down near the bird.

Not wanting to cause the bird any more harm, I quickly moved Libby along and let the bird be. I felt sad, yes, but I also felt confused and a bit angry as I pondered her fate;
Did that bird frequent that wire?
Didn't she believe, through her experience of wire-perching, that that was a safe place to land?
How many times has she landed on that same wire?
And why, today, this wire, did she have to be harmed?

These questions consumed me as Libby finished up her business.

The truth is, I know how that bird felt. I too have found myself going through my same, safe routine of life only to be surprised and hurt by an unexpected jolt. I know just how that bird feels. It is so disillusioning when you find that which you believed to be a safe place is not.
When you do what you know to be right ... to only have it backfire.
When your minding your own business, hanging out on a lone telephone wire as it were,  and get the shock of your life. Life, I've learned personally in this last season, is not the neat little package we wish it was. Even the 'safe' places we created are sometimes undependable.

I hate learning that lesson.

As Libby and I returned home, I approached the bird, wanting one last glance. When we neared her she sat up and flew off!

I couldn't believe my own eyes.
I stood there, looking up for the longest time.
Stunned. She flew off.

Tears rolled down my face. I'm not kidding you I stood in my yard and wept over this little electrocuted bird as waves of emotion rolled over my soul.
She may have be harmed.
She may have fallen down hard.
She may have seized in pain.
But she got up.
She flew off.
She wasn't going to perish.

And again, I knew exactly how she felt.

Matthew 10:29-31 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. NIV 
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